Nerice Gietel, a Certified Executive Coach and the Founder of The Career Lounge (a niche career coaching practice), shares with WiFA how she stays on top of her game, advice she would give her younger self, and much more.          

Tell us a little bit about yourself

I was born and raised in Curaçao and moved to the Netherlands at the age of 18 to study. I have changed careers several times. I have been a Social Worker, a Legal & Advice Service Manager at Violence Against Women Charity, and an HR Business Partner. As a Certified Executive Coach, my practice focuses on  supporting professional women to return to work after a career break and working professionals who are at a crossroads in their careers. 

 Tell us about a proud moment for you in your career?

One of the proudest moments in my career was when I came back from what could have been a big setback. In 2019, I enrolled in the Founders Institute program, a four-month program for early-stage startup founders, which included two idea reviews by experienced founders and VCs. At the second review I did not present a convincing plan for scaling my business. I was given the option of either presenting a new plan (which included doing things outside of my comfort zone) in four days or leaving the program. I persevered and redesigned my service delivery. In addition, I created two self-coaching online courses that enable me to offer effective, short, and more affordable coaching programs to my clients. 

How do you stay on top of your professional game? Any tips on how you keep your competitive edge?

  • Take responsibility for your personal and professional development. 
  • Build relationships beyond your team, department, company, and even industry. 
  • Share the value you bring. Let people know how you add value to your organization. If you get positive feedback from a client, tell your boss about it. Don’t miss out on opportunities by not letting people know what you are capable of. 

Think back to when you were starting out your career. What advice would you give your younger self? 

A career journey is not a sprint. So stop and smell the roses. I don’t have any regrets about the career steps and missteps I made but what I do regret is not spending more time with some family members when I was younger. I was single-mindedly focused on building a successful career. I would go years at a time without traveling back home and when I realized what really mattered to me, some of my dearest loved ones had passed away. As long as we are alive we can work on our careers but we cannot bring back lost loved ones.

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